· Vatican City ·

To the new Ambassadors accredited to the Holy See

War and climate change

 War and climate change  ING-050
15 December 2023

“The global dimensions of the conflicts in course” and climate change are two challenges that urgently demand “a reconfiguration of multilateral diplomacy”. The Holy Father stressed this in his address to the new Ambassadors of Kuwait, New Zealand, Malawi, Guinea, Sweden and Chad accredited to the Holy See, whom he received on Thursday, 7 December, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, on the occasion of the presentation of their Letters of Credence. The following is the English text of the Pope’s address.

Your Excellencies,

I am pleased to receive you for the presentation of the Letters by which you are accredited as Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of your countries to the Holy See: Kuwait, New Zealand, Malawi, Guinea, Sweden and Chad. I would ask you kindly to convey my sentiments of esteem to your respective Heads of State, together with the assurance of my prayers for them and for your fellow citizens.

You are undertaking your mission at a particularly troubled time, marked by major outbreaks of armed conflict in what I have long called a third world war fought piecemeal. Given the global dimensions of the conflicts in course, the international community is challenged, through the peaceful means of diplomacy, to seek global solutions to the grave injustices that so often are the cause of those conflicts.

In the recent Apostolic Exhortation Laudate Deum, I observed that meeting this challenge urgently demands a reconfiguration of multilateral diplomacy, with the aim of providing effective responses to emerging problems and devising global mechanisms to address the environmental, public health, cultural and social changes presently in course (Nos. 37-43). The noble and patient work of diplomacy to which you are committed must not only seek to prevent and resolve conflicts, but also to consolidate the peaceful coexistence and human flourishing of the world’s peoples by fostering respect for human dignity, defending the inalienable rights of each man, woman and child, and promoting models of integral economic and human development.

In this regard, the Holy See is particularly concerned for the future of our common home and specifically the effects of climate change and the devastation of the natural environment on the most vulnerable members of our human family. May the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, cop28 , meeting in these days in Dubai, in which I intended to participate, represent an historic step forward in responding with wisdom and foresight to these clear and present threats to the universal common good. As I stated in my Address to the Conference, “time is short. […] the future of us all depends on the present that we now choose”. Let us pray that the leaders of nations will join in adopting concrete measures that will enable us to hand on to future generations a world which more fully resembles the fruitful garden that its Creator entrusted to our care and stewardship.

Dear Ambassadors, the presence and activity of the Holy See within the international community is inspired by the desire to advance human fraternity and that peace which, as the prophet Isaiah announces, is “the fruit of justice” (cf. Is 32:17). As you now take up your mission, I offer you my prayerful good wishes for your efforts in the service of this high ideal, and I assure you of the constant readiness of offices of the Curia to assist you in the fulfilment of your responsibilities. Upon you and your families, your collaborators and your fellow citizens, I invoke God’s abundant blessings.